We spent seven weeks in the US this summer. I was ready for a break from this Workers' Paradise, and had a good time with many loved ones. There are countless differences between China and the US, some good, some bad, some just different. Here are some random observations from this trip:
The first thing we did upon our arrival in Zhanjiang was go out to dinner and have dumplings and duck. It was awesome! The internet has gotten worse, there is a lot of street work going on, and we just had a typhoon. But we can enjoy commercial free pirated shows again. Overall, it's good to be back.
- The beer in the USA is too good! Microbreweries abound, and judging from the selections, there are two or three times as many breweries than there were a couple of years ago. Pounds gained due to rich beer consumption: 2.5.
- Korean Airlines is a very nice airline. The seats are comfy and there is plenty of legroom. They provide real cutlery with your meal, a glass made of glass, and a toothbrush with a tiny tube of toothpaste so that you don't injure the customs agent with your toxic breath. The attendants are all lovely, charming, and friendly. They are also abnormally pale faced for Asians. I wonder if they don't drain some blood before each flight.
- Pot is now legal in Washington state and the smell of doobie vapor at the Pike Street Market in Seattle was a new feature. Meanwhile in China, Jackie Chan's son was busted in Beijing for possession and consumption of marijuana. Being a famous actor's son will be no use to him, since the new government does not take kindly to favoritism, and it looks like he'll be doing time in a Chinese prison. With Daddy's bucks, he should have taken a reefer holiday to Tacoma.
- I participated in countless barbecues this summer. In my experience, the US has the best barbecue culture in the world. Pounds gained due to fatty meat consumption: 2.
- American toilets are awesome!
- So are the showers.
- So is the tap water.
- So is the internet. Well, mostly. It's waaaaaaaay faster. If we want to watch an American TV show or movie in China, we pretty much are forced to download it illegally since the internet is too slow to use a live streaming service. I tried to download "True Blood" in the US and my brother in law got a nasty email from his internet service saying not to do that.
- You can get lots of stuff at an American supermarket that you can't in China. However, I've grown accustomed to a much healthier diet that I get here. I actually like shopping here better since I go to the marketplace and get stuff from lots of different vendors. It's all very fresh and the interactions are way more fun.
- The police in China don't usually carry guns, so a lot fewer people are shot by the police including unarmed black teens.
- The Great Outdoors in Oregon and Washington are just that--great! They are vast, unspoiled and lacking in busloads of tourists.
- Everything in the US costs a lot more than it does here, with a few exceptions. Casio watches are made in China, and sell for over a hundred dollars here. You can get them at discount department stores in the US for twenty bucks.
- You cannot get bagels, Mexican food, or IPA in China. You can't get dumplings, duck, or braised chicken feet in most places in the US.
- The US is the best country in the world for music!